System 44: Jefferson Parish Public School System
At a glance
  • Demonstrates a Rationale
  • Programs: System 44®, Read 180®
  • Subjects: Intervention Curriculum, Literacy Curriculum
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study
  • Grade Level: Middle, High
  • Region: Southeast
  • Population: English Learners, Students with Disabilities
  • District Urbanicity: Urban, Suburban
  • District Size: Large
  • Implementation Model: 60-79 minutes, 80+ minutes
  • District: Jefferson Parish Public School System, LA
  • Participants: N=124
  • Outcome Measure: Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP), Integrated Louisiana Education Assessment Program (iLEAP), Reading Inventory
  • Evaluation Period: 2009–2010
  • Study Conducted by: Scholastic Research

Read 180 now incorporates the comprehensive foundational literacy skills scope and sequence from System 44.

Limited-English proficient students and students with disabilities demonstrate significant improvements on the LEAP/iLEAP.

Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) is located nine miles east of New Orleans. Its 89 schools enroll 44,000 students in Grades PreK–12. The district’s student population is 50% African American, 32% White, 13% Hispanic, 5% Asian/Pacific Islander, and less than 1% American Indian/Alaskan Native. Seventy-five percent of all students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

At the beginning of the 2009–2010 school year, JPPSS’s superintendent decided to allocate newly available federal stimulus funds for a reading program that would help the district meet the needs of its most struggling students. Students were enrolled in System 44 based on several criteria, including performing at the Unsatisfactory or Approaching Basic levels on the Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP) and Integrated Louisiana Education Assessment Program (iLEAP) English Language Arts (ELA) assessments, performing poorly on the Reading Inventory®, and demonstrating difficulty with word-reading skills on the Phonics Inventory®.

A total of 124 students were selected to participate in System 44. Of these students 60% were African American, 24% were White, 10% were Hispanic, and 2% were Asian. Thirty-two percent were designated as students with disabilities, and 12% were limited-English proficient (LEP).

JPPSS piloted System 44 at 16 middle schools, seven high schools, and one alternative school with students who had not yet mastered basic phonics and decoding skills. System 44 was either implemented as a 60-minute stand-alone program or embedded into existing READ 180® classrooms for 90 minutes daily. Regardless of the model, all students used the Software for at least 20–25 minutes a day.


In 2009 and 2010, Reading Inventory and LEAP or iLEAP data were gathered from 124 students. Overall, System 44 students demonstrated a significant improvement in reading comprehension on the Reading Inventory. On average, students’ Lexile® (L) scores advanced from 181L at pretest to 348L at posttest, an average gain of 167L. These statistically significant gains continued when results were disaggregated by student group. On average, LEP students and students with disabilities gained 97L and 124L, respectively (Graph 1).

Results demonstrated that System 44 students as a whole made improvements in reading ability, as measured by the LEAP/ iLEAP (Graph 2). In spring 2009, prior to the implementation of System 44, only 2% of these students achieved the Basic Performance Level. However, Graph 2 shows that by the spring 2010 LEAP/iLEAP administration, the percentage of students scoring in the Basic Performance Level increased to 9%. Conversely, the percentage of students scoring in the Unsatisfactory Level decreased from 68% in spring 2009 to 60% in spring 2010.

Further analysis revealed that among the 74 students who scored in the Unsatisfactory Level on the 2009 LEAP/iLEAP, 34% (30% +4%) of students moved up one or more Performance Levels on the 2010 LEAP/iLEAP. Similarly, of the 37 students who scored in the Approaching Basic Performance Level, 19% moved to the Basic Performance Level on the LEAP/iLEAP (Table 1).

These positive trends continued when the results were analyzed by student group. System 44 LEP students and students with disabilities made substantial gains in terms of the percentage of students scoring in the Basic range from 2009 to 2010. The percentage of System 44 LEP students achieving Basic on the LEAP/iLEAP increased from 0% to 13% and the percentage of students with disabilities scoring in the Basic category increased from 3% to 8%.

1.4 Jefferson Parish Graph 1

GRAPH 1. Jefferson Parish Public School System System 44 Students, Grades 6–9 (N=124)

Performance on Reading Inventory by Student Group, 2009–2010

Note. The gains in Lexile measure were significant overall (t=9.83, p=.00), for students who were limited-English proficient (t=2.64, p=.02), and for students with disabilities (t=3.92, p=.00).

1.4 Jefferson Parish Graph 2

GRAPH 2. Jefferson Parish Public School System System 44 Students, Grades 6–9 (N=124) Performance Levels on LEAP/iLEAP, 2009–2010

1.4 Jefferson Parish Table 1
Note. Of the 74 students who performed in the Unsatisfactory Performance Level on the LEAP/iLEAP 67% remained in this level, 30% moved to the Approaching Basic Level, and 4% moved to the Basic Level.